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With Denver's growth, road sees 25% more traffic

Posted: 6:45 PM, Apr 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-12 03:47:09Z

As more and more people move to the Denver metro area, the traffic headaches seem to get worse and worse.

"It's terrible," said driver Catherine Snyder.

"Sometimes it's good, but it seems like anytime, anymore, 24 hours a day is rush hour," said driver Don Eafandi.

With all the rapid growth, Lakewood Principal Traffic Engineer Matt Duncan said Kipling Street has seen a 25 percent increase in traffic during a fourth-month period.

"It's a huge challenge," he said. "We are definitely seeing longer cues at our traffic signals, and a lot of other roads across the city."

Last October, Duncan said he re-programmed all of the traffic lights along Kipling.

For about a month he said they saw improvements, but then something happened.

"We started seeing standing cues, and longer waits at the intersections again," said Duncan.

To find out what was behind the congestion, he said crews went out and re-counted the number of cars driving on the street, and found a startling figure.

According to the city of Lakewood, in October of 2015, 2,100 cars drove northbound on Kipling Street from 7 to 8 in the morning.

By February, that number jumped to 2,600, which means 500 more cars are now driving on Kipling during the morning rush hour.

"To see that much growth in a small amount of time," said Duncan. "That's a 25 percent increase in traffic, which is pretty much unheard of."

He said with that much growth, so fast - there is only so much they can do to deal with the traffic.

"Sometimes even leaving 15 minutes earlier in the morning or 15 minutes later can have a tremendous impact," said Duncan.

If you can -- Duncan suggests avoiding Kipling from 7:20 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the evenings. He said those are the times they see the worst traffic and gridlock.

Lakewood also said it plans to re-program traffic lights on Wadsworth next fall in hopes of improving traffic flows on that stretch of road. 

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